Unbeaten run enters the record books as Canaries continue as Championship away day kings
The fine unbeaten away run helping to keep Norwich City’s promotion hopes on track is moving into record breaking realms.
Going 12 league away matches without defeat has matched the Canaries’ club record in the second tier, following the late fightback to draw 1-1 at West Brom on Saturday.
The promotion winners of 1986 and 2015 both managed the same impressive run and now Daniel Farke’s class of 2019 have written their name into the record books.
However, the club’s all-time record is 14 games – stretching on from the excellent run under Alex Neil in 2015, when 12 games in the Championship were eventually added to by a Premier League win at Sunderland and a League Cup success at Rotherham at the start of the next season.
You could argue that the 2-0 win over Middlesbrough at Wembley in between those games took it to 15 but with that considered a neutral venue, the record of 14 is considered the fairest measure.
All of which means when the current squad make the difficult trip to title-chasing Leeds at the start of next month, the away record for the second tier can be broken – but the club record will require further work.
Being in contention for such successful records can only bode well for Farke’s promotion hopefuls, demonstrating the determination and character needed to go on such a run.
Ken Brown’s team of 1985-86 bounced straight back to the top flight as champions of the Second Division, including a 12-game unbeaten league run outside of Norfolk between September and February.
That began with a 1-1 draw at Middlesbrough and included wins at Sunderland, Leeds and Crystal Palace – as well as a New Year’s Day success at Fulham which is still the club’s last victory at Craven Cottage, 33 years ago.
Seven wins and five draws, scoring 22 and conceding just seven, played an important part in that promotion push.
It was eventually brought to an end by a 2-1 defeat at Wimbledon in early March but that didn’t prevent the Canaries from finishing seven points clear as champions two months later.
That away strength was matched in 2015 when Neil arrived as an unknown quantity from Scotland and inspired a remarkable run of form.
Effectively taking the reins from Mike Phelan mid-match at Bournemouth, when he found watching from the directors’ box too hard, Cameron Jerome scored a late winner for 10-man City to kick-start a new era.
Wins at Watford, Millwall, Brighton and Leeds were all in the mix as a 12-game unbeaten streak on the road unfolded, contributing to third place and just missing out on automatic promotion.
The draw at Portman Road in the play-offs saw that 12-game run come to rest ahead of the trip to Wembley, before being resumed with a 3-1 top-flight victory at Sunderland and a 2-1 win at Rotherham in the League Cup second round, to take the streak to a club record 14 away games.
That run featured 10 wins and four draws, scoring 26 and conceding 11, as Norwich made a blistering start to Neil’s reign – which unfortunately ran out of steam a few months later.
Back to the present though and the current unbeaten run on the road started with a 1-1 draw at Ipswich back in September and has since included wins at QPR, Nottingham Forest, Swansea and Blackburn.
In total the run has collected 24 points from a possible 36. It has required the fighting spirit which has become City’s trademark this season though.
Max Aarons’ header in the 78th minute at Bristol City earned a 2-2 draw, Teemu Pukki snatched a 1-0 win in the 86th minute at Blackburn, Timm Klose forced home the equaliser at Brentford in the 83rd minute and at The Hawthorns on Saturday it was Jordan Rhodes rescuing a vital point in the 84th minute.
It’s taken real character from Farke’s team – which they’re sure to need plenty of when they go to Elland Road following home clashes with Birmingham and Sheffield United.
Just one loss in 14 away games in the Championship means no team have taken as many points (25) on their travels, with Boro and Leeds closest on 24.
Only Leeds have scored as many away goals (23) and only Boro (11) have conceded fewer than City (13).
All of that and the only defeat came in the last minute at Sheffield United, when Billy Sharp snatched victory at Bramall Lane in August.
Add to the mix cup wins at Cardiff and Wycombe, and a defeat at Bournemouth that really should have been a win, and you wouldn’t bet against this Canaries squad breaking that club record of 14 unbeaten on the road.